Convention-Center setting wows bowlers at USBC Women's Championships


    United States

    El Paso Convention and Performing Arts Center in El Paso, Texas, USA (March 27-July 9, 2010)

     With the first week of the 2010 United States Bowling Congress Women's Championships coming to a close, more and more bowlers are appreciating the conversion of the El Paso Convention and Performing Arts Center into a one-of-a-kind bowling facility.

    Click on the image to enlarge it.

    The 2010 event marks the first time in the tournament's 91-year history that the USBC Women's Championships has been held in a convention-center setting. Since 1997, the tournament has been held at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev., every third year, but all other events were held in traditional bowling centers.

    From the world's largest mobile scoreboard to a unique vendor area, many of the bowlers find the new additions to the tournament to be step in the right direction and look forward to seeing a similar set-up in Syracuse, N.Y., for the 2011 Women's Championships.

    2010USBCWCCarolGoebel.jpgCarol Goebel (pictured right) of Fond du Lac, Wis., found the convention-center setting and the city of El Paso to be very welcoming. This was her 17th trip to the Women's Championships.

    "I love it," said Goebel, who bowls at Karl Ray Lanes. "This place is immaculate. It's great that they're really catering to the women. It's just been an awesome experience. Every person in El Paso has been wonderful and friendly."

    2010USBCWCTheLastMinuteBowlers.jpgJessica Urias of South Lake Tahoe, Calif., made her sixth Women's Championships appearance this year and enjoyed the new look and feel.

    "There's no comparison," said Urias, who bowls regularly at Tahoe Bowl. "Some of the past tournaments seemed like a regular house tournament and not a national event. The scoreboards are great, and the stadium-like bleachers really let people take in the action."

    Urias also enjoyed the challenge on the tournament lanes and likes that bowlers have to make their best shots to score well.

    "Once the shot changed, it was a challenge to me to find the right line," Urias said. "But that's my job as a bowler- to find the right look."

    2010USBCWCTracyForst.jpgTracy Forst (right) of West Jordan, Utah, believes a lot of the bowlers will be surprised when they walk into the El Paso Convention and Performing Arts Center this year.

    "I think a lot of them will see it and think that it's pretty cool," said Forst, who made her 20th tournament appearance. "A lot of them have probably never seen one of the builds at the Open (Championships), so it will be a surprise. This is one of the reasons I really wanted to bowl this year."

    Forst also saw the advantages of the event being held outside of a traditional bowling center.

    "The old bowling centers didn't have enough room," said Forst, who bowls regularly at Bonwood Bowl in South Salt Lake, Utah. "This is way better. It's not as crowded, has a nice environment and good lane conditions."

    The tournament kicked off March 27, and bowlers will continue making the trip to El Paso until the 100-day event wraps up on July 4. Nearly 6,000 teams (30,000 bowlers) are expected to compete this year.

    2010USBCWCLogo.jpg The Official sponsors for the 2010 USBC Women's Championships are Nationwide Insurance; Kegel, official lane maintenance provider; US Steltronic, official scoring system; Brunswick; Storm Bowling Products Inc.; and the El Paso Convention and Visitors Bureau.


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